Intelligent Design Advocate Denied Tenure

on May 19, 2007

Ames Tribune: “Proponent of intelligent design denied tenure by ISU

An assistant professor of astronomy at Iowa State University has apparently been denied tenure because of his support of intelligent design—or so indicates circumstantial evidence.

Guillermo Gonzalez, a senior fellow of the intelligent design-promoting Discovery Institute, was one of three professors denied tenure by the university over the past academic year, out of 66 who were considered for the status. Although Gonzalez declined to comment on why he believes he did not receive tenure, he asserted, “I believe that I fully met the requirements for tenure at ISU.”

Indeed, the Discovery Institute attempts to explain how Gonzalez apparently exceeded his department’s tenure standard, for example, having been published considerably more in referred journals than the expected approximation of 15 given by the department (Gonzalez has published 68).

Those scientists are underqualified or do not meet the same academic standards met by other scientists.

Although the university has not yet given a specific reason for the denial, the evidence does seem to suggest that Gonzalez’ status as a leading intelligent design advocate may have doomed his tenure application. The Ames Tribune reports:

In the summer of 2005, three faculty members at ISU drafted a statement against the use of intelligent design in science. One of those authors, Hector Avalos, told The Tribune at the time he was concerned the growing prominence of Gonzalez’s work was beginning to market ISU as an “intelligent design school.”

The Discovery Institute’s John G. West claims it was a case of “ideological discrimination” against Gonzalez. Interestingly, if West’s claim is true (and, presumably, if Gonzalez’ case is not the only one of ideological discrimination against intelligent design advocates and creationists), this erodes a key criticism evolutionists have against those scientists who accept intelligent design or creation: that those scientists are underqualified or do not meet the same academic standards met by other scientists.

For more on the topic of intelligent design and how it relates to biblical creationism, see The Intelligent Design Movement.

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